APSoil is a database of soil water characteristics enabling estimation of Plant Available Water Capacity for individual soils and crops. It covers many cropping regions of Australia and is regularly updated. It is designed for use in simulation modelling and agronomic practice.
APSoil enables the user to:
View individual soil and crop species data in spreadsheet and graphical formats
Develop personal APSoil directories of locally relevant soils
Modify soils to fit local conditions eg sub-soil constraints
Check soil files for APSIM compatibility
Run the APSIM model using soils developed within APSoil
Click here to download APSoil (4.9Mb - version 7.20, 22nd May 2015)
Click here to download the latest APSoil database. (14.8MB - version 3.31, 29th April 2019) (once it is save then you can open this .soils file using the APSoil application [see above for download] or add it as a Toolbox in APSIM.)
Click here to view the APSoil database in Google Earth.
Estimating Plant Available Water Capacity - A Methodology
As part of GRDC Projects Training growers to manage soil water (CSA00011) and Measuring and managing soil water in Australian agriculture (CSP00170) research organisations, consultants and farmers across six Australian states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia) were involved with training activities associated with the management of soil water and in the characterisation of soils for Plant Available Water Capacity (PAWC). This document (PDF - 1Mb) written by Lawrence Burk and Neal Dalgliesh and published by GRDC provides practitioners with practical information, methodologies and tools for the characterisation of PAWC with the aim of ensuring consistency across regions.
To download the datasheets referenced in the above document click here (69Kb)
A detailed field protocol that provides helpful hints and assists in collection of supporting information is available here.
A protocol that assists with the development of APSoil parameter estimations is available here.
A more detailed version of the datasheets referenced in the field protocol and parameter estimation document is available here.
This manual comprises a set of modules that provide background information on, and describe the best practice in, soil monitoring. The simple explanation of soil and plant processes enables the results of soil monitoring to be used with confidence to achieve more profitable and sustainable crop management. This handbook provides a simple explanation of the key soil processes as a basis for learning, and practical guidance when making soil measurements to aid decision-making. In APSRU our experience with on-farm collaborative research has highlighted many issues for which a ready source of reference would be valuable.
The Soil Matters handbook is intended to fill this need, whilst providing references to sources of more detailed information.
Compiled by N.P. Dalgliesh and M.A. Foale
Click here to read Soil Matters (html version)
Click here to read and download Soil Matters as a single PDF (10.3Mb)
Click here to read Soil Matters (PDF for each chapter)
Regional case studies evaluating PAWC characterisations in a soil-landscape context
APSoil plant available water capacity (PAWC) characterisation of select Liverpool Plains soils and their landscape context
Scoping studies documenting available soil information to support prediction of PAWC
GRDC Project CSP00210 has undertaken three reviews of available soil and landscape information that could be used for mapping PAWC to soil landscapes and predicting PAWC at the farm management scale.
GRDC Northern Region scoping study: Available soil information to support prediction of PAWC
GRDC Western Region scoping study: Available soil information to support prediction of PAWC
GRDC Southern Region scoping study: Available soil information to support prediction of PAWC
Taking soil samples
A short video has been produced demonstrating how to take soil cores using a simple manual extraction method.
Soil Water Express
A tool to generate approximate soil water characteristics and estimates of available soil water (in millimeters) from field based soil water logging devices.
This tool is still under testing please contact Neal Dalgliesh
SoilMapp for iPad: Soil Information at Your Fingertips
Find out what's beneath your feet with SoilMapp which taps into the best available soil information from Australia’s national soil databases. You can find out about the likely types of soil near you or you can look anywhere across the country. Discover the soil’s secrets, how it holds water, its clay content, acidity and other attributes related to agricultural productivity and land management. Australia's soils are one of the country's most valuable natural assets, critical to sustainable food production, biodiversity conservation, water quality and human health. Having access to the best available soil and land information assists improved land management decisions, sustaining Australia’s soils into the future.
SoilMapp for iPad enables you to:
- learn about the likely soil types on your property
- view maps, photographs, satellite images, tables and graphs of data about nearby soils
- uncover your soil’s physical and chemical characteristics, including acidity (pH), soil carbon, available water storage, salinity and erodibility
- get soil information to put into the farm computer model APSIM, a model that can help with management decisions on crops and project likely crop yields
- access the app anywhere there is wireless or internet connection to your iPad.
See www.csiro.au/soilmapp for more information.
SoilMapp for iPad is now available from the Apple App Store.
Recent GRDC Update papers relating to PAWC and APSoil
Verburg K, Cocks B, Webster T, Whish J (2016) Methods and tools to characterise soils for plant available water capacity (Coonabarabran)
Verburg K, Cocks B, Webster T, Whish J (2016) Methods and tools to characterise soils for plant available water capacity (Walgett)
Verburg K, Cocks B, Webster T, Whish J (2016) Methods and tools to characterise soils for plant available water capacity (Nyngan)
Verburg K, Cocks B, Webster T, Whish J (2016) Methods and tools to characterise soils for plant available water capacity (Goondiwindi)
Verburg K, Cocks B, Webster T, Whish J (2016) Methods and tools to characterise soils for plant available water capacity (North Star)
Verburg K, Whish J (2016) Drivers of fallow efficiency: Effect of soil properties and rainfall patterns on evaporation and the effectiveness of stubble cover (Northern Updates)
Verburg K, Glover M, Minehan C, van Rees H, Jackman A, McClelland T, Dalgliesh N, Hunt J, Cocks B, Henry S, Oliver Y, Thomas M, Mowat D, Caldwell L, Hall A (2015) Soil characteristics and Yield Prophet® for better decisions.
Oliver Y (2015) Crop updates 2015 – Maximising profits using the latest soil water and weather tools
Oliver Y and Roth C (2014) Measuring and managing soil water – who is doing what in WA
Dalgliesh N (2014) Practical processes for better soil water management (Coonabarabran and Nyngan)
Dalgliesh N, Huth N (2013) New technology for measuring and advising on soil water